Ridding the town of run-down buildings is the target of the Town of Smithtown, in a new project spearheaded by Kevin Malloy and Robert Creighton of the town council.
“We’re in the process of taking a look at all of the what I would call blighted properties in the town and trying to do something about them,” Creighton said.
The project, which Creighton said began roughly two weeks ago, has the planning department compiling a list of buildings within the town in poor condition and to find out from the property owners what plans they have with the buildings.
After obtaining the information the town would look into how to solve each issue.
“We’re going to have our planning people first go out and try to contact the property owner and see what their future plans are for those properties – are they going to take these facilities down, are they for sale – and once we ascertain that the we can begin to take whatever action necessary,” said councilman Edward Wehrheim, who is also involved in the project.
Creighton said although no law is currently in place the town council is in discussion with the town attorney to draft a law giving the town permission to take action on the run-down buildings.
“We have to come up with a reasonable solution … that’s what we’re doing, trying to figure out a proper statute,” he said.
Both Creighton and Wehrheim cited two boarded-up homes in Kings Park off of Route 25A in a residential area, at one time under construction but never completed, as examples of run-down buildings the town needs to address.
Creighton also sited the as an example.
Creighton said these buildings create numerous problems for the community.
“They are unsightly … there are [buildings] that are boarded up that were broken in to, we have to have them re-boarded up, they’re an eyesore to the community, for the rest of the neighbors in the area,” he said. “There are buildings which have been boarded up that are just sitting there boarded up, not necessarily broken in to. They certainly create a serious problem for the neighbors whose houses next door are losing value because these houses are sitting there … each one creates a different issue.”
Representatives from the planning department said the list is finished but plans to release the list won’t be made until it is sent to the town board.